Saturday, July 4, 2009

Conference Day and Treatment Plan

At this point many people had called me to convince me to go to M.D. Anderson as soon as possible. Also, at this point I was starting to get very confused, sad, and scared. Sleeping crammed on a tiny hospital couch with Abu Yousuf freezing the whole night was not enough quality sleep to prepare me for all the upcoming information and decisions that were coming my way.

Alhamdulilah, Yousuf had a few visitors allowing my mom, Abu Yousuf and I to go in the conference room to discuss the results on the tests and treatment options. I felt like I would just start to understand one concept by the time the doctor went on to a new point. From what I understood there were two treatment plans for us to choose from: The standard treatment and the clinical trials. The standard treatmen plan speaks for itself: a standard plan for the type of leukemia that he has with the same medicines and dosages. Clinical trials is after the first month of treatment (the induction phase) there will be a randomized selection of those undergoing a clinical trial who recieve more of the medications from the induction phase. Clinical trials also take a closer look under the microscope of Yousuf's regular tests. We made the decision to go with the clinical trials after Abu Yousuf also consulted several doctor friends of his. More good news came later that Yousuf's subtype of ALL is 12/21 (not sure what that means) but this is based off the test that looks at the chromosomes of the leukemia? This subtype is even better news in that he will recieve the plan A treatment plan (one out of three plans) that requires less dosage of chemotherapy since he is responding quite well to the treatment so far and the subtype also responds well to less chemo. Alhamulilah. The doctor went over how serious it will be for Yousuf to stay home most of the time and keep him away from places with a lot people. Any sign of infection needs to be taken seriously and can be very dangerous.

I left the conference room overwhelmed, a bit confused and worried on how much of this I will be doing alone since Abu Yousuf travels a lot. My anxiety was leaving me breathless.


  1. Salaam Alaikum Sr- I am a student of Al-Maghrib. First of all - may Allah SWT make this easy on Yousef and the family. I have worked in cancer clinical research for a long while and actually worked for Children's Oncology Group as an auditor. May I ask what study you decided on? If you have any questions, you can contact me anytime and if I do not know the answer, Insha Allah, I can get it for you. Sr Teresa Barros (

  2. JazakaAllah khair...I'll be emailing you